Adobe Photoshop: Keyboard Shortcuts

Keybaord Shortcuts

How much time do you waste in Photoshop, digging through various menus to complete the most basic of tasks? I know that I have probably lost hours of valuable work time over the years because when I was just starting out on Photoshop, I did the same thing!

Fortunately, Adobe Photoshop has foreseen these problems and has offered an extremely simple solution: keyboard shortcuts. Not only do these shave off minutes (or more) of valuable work time that could be spent better elsewhere per project, they’re easy to learn. Here’s a large cheat sheet for the Photoshop keyboard shortcuts, that way you can easily find exactly what you need.

Please keep in mind that these are written with PC users in mind, but the shortcuts work very similarly for Mac users. For example, Ctrl + Z becomes Cmd + Z, and Alt + Delete becomes Opt + Delete. So anywhere you see Ctrl, replace it with Cmd (it may look like this: ), and anywhere you see Alt replace it with the Opt key (It may look like this: ).

Also contained within the article are links to other articles that explain the basic Photoshop features, so be sure to read up if you’re new or need a refresher course!

Photo Credit: Apple Keyboard by Andrew* on flickr

Function Row

  • F5 = Brushes Palette
  • F6 = Color Palette
  • F7 = Layer Palette
  • F8 = Info Pallet

Numeric Row

  • 1 = 10% Opacity
  • 2 = 20% Opacity
  • 3 = 30% Opacity
  • 4 = 40% Opacity
  • 5 = 50% Opacity
  • 6 = 60% Opacity
  • 7 = 70% Opacity
  • 8 = 80% Opacity
  • 9 = 90% Opacity
  • 0 = 100% Opacity
  • Ctrl + 0 = Fit on Screen
  • Ctrl + – = Zoom Out
  • Ctrl + + = Zoom In

Top Row

  • Q = Quick Mask
  • Ctrl + Q = Quit
  • W = Magic Wand
  • Ctrl + W = Close
  • E = Eraser
  • Ctrl + E = Merge Layers
  • R = Blur Tool
  • Ctrl + R = Rulers
  • T = Type Tool
  • Ctrl + T = Transform
  • Y = History Brush
  • Ctrl + Y = Proof Colors
  • I = Eyedropper
  • Ctrl + I = Invert
  • O = Dodge Tool
  • Ctrl + O = Open File
  • [ = Brush Size (Smaller)
  • Ctrl + [ = Move Layer Down
  • ] = Brush Size (Larger)
  • Ctrl + ] = Move Layer Up

Home Row

  • A = Path Select
  • Ctrl + A = Select All
  • S = Clone Stamp
  • Ctrl + S = Save
  • D = Default Colors (Black/White)
  • Ctrl + D = Deselect
  • F = Screen Mode
  • Ctrl + F = Apply Last Filter
  • G = Gradient / Paintbucket
  • Ctrl + G = Group Layers
  • H = Hand Tool
  • Ctrl + H = Show/Hide Extras
  • J = Healing Brush
  • Ctrl + J = Copy Active Layer
  • K = Slice
  • Ctrl + K = Preferences
  • L = Lasso
  • Ctrl + L = Levels

Bottom Row

  • Z = Zoom Tool
  • Ctrl + Z = Undo/Redo
  • X = Swap Foreground/Background colors
  • Ctrl + X = Cut
  • C = Crop Tool
  • Ctrl + C = Copy
  • V = Move Tool
  • Ctrl + V = Paste
  • B = Brush Tool
  • Ctrl + B = Color Balance
  • N = Note Tool
  • Ctrl + N = New file
  • M = Marquee (aka Selection Tool)
  • Ctrl + M = Curves

Other Useful Commands

  • Alt + Delete = Fill with foreground color
  • Ctrl + Delete = Fill with background color
  • Ctrl + Alt + Z = Step Backwards
  • Ctrl + Alt + C = Canvas Size
  • Ctrl + Alt + I = Image Size
  • Space Bar (hold) = Hand Tool/Panning
  • Ctrl + Shift + I = Invert Selection
  • Shift + Enter = Commit type
  • Hold Shift (with Selection Tool) = Add to existing selection
  • Hold Alt (with Selection tool) = Subtract from existing selection